Flying with the toddler…

Babs boarded his first flight when he was 5 months old. I say, he is so lucky, I boarded my first flight when I was 25 yrs old, till then aero plane for me was the small dot we see with amazement, moving high above in the sky.

On his first flight Babs was mostly asleep. He cried only when hungry and slept off on being fed. He was only breastfed at that time, hence had to carry only wipes, diapers and an extra dress in my hand bag. But this time I had to be prepared. Now, he being a 14 months old , hyperactive toddler, and having witnessed non stop crying babies in the flights earlier, we carefully planned our trip.

We booked our tickets from Dubai to Calicut, keeping our toddler’s nap time in mind. We booked the early morning (3.30 am ) flight. That would mean we have to report the Airport at 12.30 am, which would mean Babs would be fast asleep on our shoulders throughout the security check and boarding process and in the flight. If we had taken the 1.00 am flight, we usually take, we have to report the airport at 10.00 pm, means Babs would be too excited seeing us preparing to leave and would not sleep at all and it would be difficult to manage him. For the same reason we decided against morning flights. We would land at IST 9.00 am at the Calicut Airport, means Babs can have his morning bottle of milk on the flight itself and would be asleep during the checking out process and would enjoy the sights from the taxi. Be will be home by noon, he can have lunch and sleep. Perfect planning.

But the toddler had other plans. As I mentioned in my previous post, Babs had caught fever which was high the day before the flight. So on 8th, 9th and till 10th evening he was asleep or lying down inactive most of the time. By evening medicines took effect. He regained his energy. I tried to put him to sleep many times before leaving for the airport, but he would not sleep. Finally we had to carry a widely awake and excited Babs to the airport. He has not yet started walking by himself. But he wanted to get down. He would  crawl all over the airport.1 And he is Usain Bolt when it comes to crawling. We would easily loose him in the airport. He wanted to lay his hand on every thing and everyone he saw around. Only way to control him was to show any other kid in the airport, then he would be smiling ear to ear to the kid for next 5 mins. He kept calling everyone “eyy” and was blabbering non-stop to the attendants. Thankfully he wasn’t crying and so people around were actually amused. All were instantly taken by the sweet smile that he gave away without any hesistation.

Emirates Airlines too had plans to keep us entertained. They kept changing their boarding gates. Thrice, we had to walk, with luggages and over excited Babs to different gates which were so far from each other that we thought we may reach the Calicut airport walking.2

Once on the flight, he started crying aloud because of being restricted in one seat. But by the time the flight took off  I was able to feed him and put him to sleep. He slept peacefully in the flight and got up again only at the Calicut airport during the check out. Once the flight landed, we waited for the rush to be over before getting down the plane. Many people who passed us were looking at the toddler fast asleep in my arms and talking to each other “look how peacefully the baby is sleeping now” , “he was so cheerful” “poor baby, tired after all the excitement”

Once in the Taxi, from Calicut to Kannur, as we expected, he enjoyed the sight seeings from the car and also took short naps. The bag I had packed for him, with biscuits, bottles, warm water, Formula milk powder, sugar, wipes, diapers, dress, towels etc.. came in handy throughout the trip.

On the return trip too he did not create much problem other than over excitement at the airport. I could hear two babies crying non stop throughout the flight, and thanked God and of course Babs for being a better travel partner.

Image Courtsey : 1